This is what happened when a group of wealthy, white tech workers in San Francisco attempted to kick a group of local kids off their playing field — they got a life lesson they’ll never forget.
The Mission Playing Field, enjoyed for decades as a shared public space, is being privatized by San Francisco Parks & Recreation in collusion with the private City Fields Foundation. Without community approval, the private foundation decided to issue costly permits to use the small traditional pick-up soccer field.
So, the inevitable happens and the entitled show up and try to kick the neighborhood kids off of the field at prime time without even showing their “permit.” They don’t want to wait their turn and play with everyone else.
One of them is even heard off-camera crying:
“Who cares about the community?!”
The kids hold their ground and explain that they’ve been playing this field for years and the rules are: you take your turn or you do not get one. Despite the waving of permits and threats to call the police, the kids hold their ground and their tempers. Eventually, the guys are forced to sit down and join the game with the community like everyone else.
Valleywag, spotting the logo on the player’s shirts, was able to link these entitled guys to the IT company Dropbox and establish they were part of a corporate league. As the story went viral, chief offender among the interlopers, Jean-Denis Greze, issued a humble apology via twitter.
In fact, even Dropbox issued an apology over the matter to SFGate:
We love San Francisco and are grateful to call it home. That’s why we were disappointed to learn that a couple of our employees weren’t respectful to this community. The employees involved are embarrassed and have apologized. We’re sorry, and we promise to do better.
It calls to mind Spike Lee’s awesome rant about the gentrification of Brooklyn, where wealthy and largely white groups have bought up parks, residential and commercial space — and exodused the poor and largely non-white communities by hiking rents and housing prices beyond their grasp. He called it Christopher Columbus Syndrome:
“Then comes the motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart.”
San Francisco is Ground Zero in the gentrification issue right now.
Evictions have risen a whopping 115 percent over the past 12 months.
Rents are soaring year on year, rising 7 percent in San Francisco last year alone, pricing out many low and middle earners, as well as seniors from the area, while apartments are now 18 percent smaller than they were a decade ago.
With Landlords using the Ellis Act to rid themselves of middle and working class tenants in order to score exorbitant rent incomes from the incoming, wealthy tech workers, the local community has had to switch to direct action.
Residents are literally forced to mass occupy homes and apartment buildings in efforts to stop landlords conducting mass evictions in order to clear the way for higher rents from wealthy tech workers moving to the area.
The fight is on to save Mission Playing Field, too.
The San Francisco Latino Democratic Club is holding a protest at City Hall at 9a.m. on Thursday, 16th October, to reject Rec & Parks’ soccer-field reservation system. They say simply:
“The youth of our city should not have to pay to use our public parks.”